In 1867, Emmanuel Lipmann, with its sons Ernest and Camille, found a workshop of clock industry under the ensign Comptoir Lipmann. The workshop becomes, in 1893, the Public limit company of Clock industry Lipmann Frères .
RiseIn 1896, the Chronomètre Lip is launched, this designation becomes the mark of the clock making Manufacture and appears on all the dials of the watches. Manufacture rises then, has approximately 2.500 parts per annum.
In 1931, the LiP mark becomes LiP S.A. of Clock industry . Actions of the company are then given to the distributers to accelerate the sales. The three directors are then: James Lipmann (wire of Camille) responsible for the commercial one; Fred Lipmann (wire of Ernest) responsible for the technique, Lionel Lipmann (wire of Ernest) responsible for the communication.
The parents of Fred and Lionel Lipmann are stopped at the time of the Rafle of the Cycle-racing track of Winter (16 July 17th, 1942) and will not return from Auschwitz. In the absence of his Lionel brother and of that of James Lipmann, become one of the principal collaborators of Jean Monnet in Washington, Fred Lipmann becomes president de Lip in 1945. Neither Lionel nor James Lipmann will return in the business which develops by agreements of manufacture with the Russians. Lip launches gauges of a great modernity, like the T 18 and the R25 created by Jean-Georges Laviolette.
At the beginning of the year 1960, the Lip company makes from the trade agreements with Breitling, Blancpain and receives many rewards for the precision of its movements and the design of its watches.
First difficultiesIn the years 1960, the financial position of the company is degraded.
In 1967, Fred Lipmann , become Fred Lip , decides to open the capital and yields 33% of its shares to Ébauches S.A. (subsidiary of ASUAG, large Swiss consortium clock making which will become Swatch Group).
In 1970, Ébauches S.A. becomes the principal shareholder with 43% of the capital.
In 1971, Fred Lip is unloaded by the board of directors. It is replaced by Jacques Holy Spirit.
In 1973, Lip manufactures the first French quartz watches. But the difficulties are accentuated: American and Japanese competition puts already the company in danger. The April 17th 1973, Jacques Holy Spirit resigns, Lip files for bankruptcy. In the weeks which follow, the Lip factory then becomes the theater of a strike which will know a national audience. It is the starting point of a conflict emblematic of after 68, which will last several years.
1973: The Lip businessRunning May 1973, a committee of action (CA), inherited the movement of May 68, reconstitutes itself.
June 12th, at a meeting of the extraordinary Work's council, workmen open the towel of the one of the administrators, and discover the decisions of reorganization and dismissals that one hid to them. The factory of Palente is occupied at once. In the night, the stock of watches is put at the shelter in masks. The strike is in particular carried out by a person in charge CFDT, Charles Piaget.
June 15th, a demonstration gathers 12.000 people in the streets of Besancon.
June 18th, a general meeting decides the re-starting of the production, under control of the workers, to ensure “wages of survival”. The fight of Lip is then popularized with the slogan: It is possible: one manufactures, one sells, one treats to (see Autogestion). Inter-union the CGT - CFDT request with the review Books of May to help them to make a newspaper of strike: Lip-Unit , which will take part in the mediatization of the movement.
August 2nd, the Minister for Industrial development, Jean Charbonnel, names a mediator: Henri Giraud.
August 11th, beginning of the negotiations between the trade unions, the Committee of action and Henri Giraud.
August 15th, the mobile guards invest the factory and drive out the workmen. They will remain until February 1974 there. At the advertisement of this news, many companies of Besancon and area are put in strike and the workmen come in découdre with the police force. Trade unionists interpose to prevent the confrontation. This will not prevent arrests and judgments at the time of the demonstrations which will proceed the following days.
September 29th, a great national walk on Besancon is organized. 100.000 people express under a beating rain, it is the walk of the 100.000 . Between the CFDT and the CGT the tensions develop.
October 15th, the Prime Minister, Pierre Messmer announces: Lip, it is finished! . In slide, some heads of undertakings of CNPF (Antoine Riboud, Renaud Waistcoat and Jose Bidegain) activate themselves to find a solution. It is finally Claude Neuschwander, then number two of the group Publicis and member of the PSU, which agrees to take again the Lip company.
January 29th 1974, the delegation of Lip signs the agreements of Dole. The European Compagnie of clock industry , directed by Claude Neuschwander then takes again the clock industry activities of Lip. 850 workmen must be re-employed. It is the end of the strike.
1976, the second movementDuring 2 years which will follow, the new leadership team must face unforeseen difficulties:
- the suppliers do not honor the placed orders, Renault (undertaken nationalized) withdraws its orders.
- the bankruptcy court request in LiP to honor the 6 million debts of the old company near the suppliers (as opposed to what stipulated the agreements of Pares).
- the interlocutors changed: departure of Jean Charbonnel with the entry with the capacity of a new president, Valery Giscard d'Estaing.
February 8th, 1976, Claude Neuschwander resigns: “Until Lip, we were in a capitalism where the company was in the middle of the economy. After, we were in a capitalism where the finance and the interest of the money replaced the company. ”
In April 1976 the European Compagnie of clock industry files for bankruptcy.
May 5th, 1976, Lip start a new occupation of the factory and start again the production of watch. Release title Lip, it set out again! .
Vis-a-vis the absence of transferees, Lip is definitively liquidated on September 12th 1977. November 28th, 1977, after long debates, Lip create six co-operatives of which Industries of Palente , whose initial ones always sound LIP .
Recovery by KipléIn 1984, the mark is repurchased by Kiplé , but the sector goes definitely badly. Kiplé is in liquidation in 1990.
Recovery by the industrialist Jean-Claude SensematIn 1990, Jean-Claude Sensemat, industrialist of the Department of Gers, acquires the clock making mark near the court of Besancon and tries to develop it with a more modern approach marketing.
The sales develop with the point to distribute a million watches per annum, mainly thanks to the sale of watches precedes with the large national press, the Large distribution and the Mail-order selling. The republication of the watch of the Général de Gaulle that Jean-Claude Sensemat offered to Bill Clinton was the release of the restarting of this French famous brand.
In 2002 Jean-Claude Sensemat signs an license agreement world of Lip with Jean-Luc Bernerd who created for this purpose the Clock making General Manufacture with Lectoure in the Gers.
Lip Precision IndustrySome former employees of Lip returned to work in Palente, within the SCOP Lip Précision Industry which employs a small score of people. In the absence of clock industry, the principal activity of the latter is the precision mechanics (machining in particular).
T10 ( the Cross of the South ) created for the plane of Jean Mermoz
- T18 , designed by Andre Donat, and produced of 1933 to 1949; T18 was offered to Sir Winston Churchill in 1948
- Electronic (1952), whose first models are carried by the Général de Gaulle and President Eisenhower.
- Nautic and Dauphine Nautic ski
Collaboration with Designer:
François de Baschmakoff (1972, 1973)
- Michel Boyer (1975)
- Jean Dinh Van (1976)
- Isabelle Hebey (1976) which conceived the Skipper
- Marc Held
- Michel Kinn
- Rudolf Meyer (1974) Watch preceded by the Forum Industry Design of Hanover in 1976.
- Roger Tallon, designer of the TGV) which conceived the Mach 2000
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